“Understanding Bangsamoro history undermines prejudices on Moro”: Peace Advocate

A prominent Moro peace advocate stressed the need for the public to understand the Bangsamoro history for it undermines prejudices on Moro during a peace forum held at Brgy. Poblacion, Lupon, Davao Oriental, last Sunday (Aug 28).

In his presentation entitled “Bangsamoro history undermines prejudices on Moro,” Professor Raby Angkal from Office of the First Vice Chairman-MILF, tackled the significant events in the Bangsamoro history and the rationale behind the Bangsamoro struggle.

Angkal also discussed the sentiments and aspiration of the Bangsamoro people for self-determination. He also cited the importance of stakeholders’ participation to support the peace process.

The gathering, 7th General Assembly: Davao Region Bangsamoro Leaders Consultative Forum, was graced by MILF First Vice Chairman Ghadzali Jaafar, BIAF Vice Chief of Staff Hussein Muñoz, Davao Oriental Provincial Police Supt. Harry Espilla, and Jimmy Labawan, one of Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) leaders.

It pooled around 700 Bangsamoro people (MILF and MNLF) from various sectors from Davao Region including, Indigenous Peoples, Settlers, and members of the Philippine National Police.

Some analysts attributed the failure of the lawmakers to pass the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) during the previous administration on bigotry and biases against the Bangsamoro people rather than on the issue of constitutionality of the proposed measure. 

After more than 17 years of peace negotiation, the Government of the Philippines (GPH)t and the MILF signed the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro in 2014 which provides the passage of the BBL by the Philippine Congress.

The BBL is an enabling law agreed upon by the two Parties that will pave way for the establishment of the Bangsamoro autonomous political entity with more fiscal and political powers.

The untold stories and some narratives of the Bangsamoro struggle shared during the forum with the theme “Unity: A solution to the Bangsamoro Problem” awakened the minds of the participants particularly the young ones.

Jaffar urged the people to continue working hard in supporting the peace process. He underscored the important role of the government to resolve the Mindanao problem.

Labawan is optimistic that unity among the Bangsamoro people will be sustained as the quest for lasting solution to Mindanao conflict continues. He hoped that same gathering will continuously be organized in able to strengthen the unity of the leaders in the Davao region.

Deputy Chief of Staff Hussein Muños said the objective of the activity is to urge all the people to keep on supporting the peace process throughout the period of political settlement being undertaken by the GPH and MILF peace panels.

A separate meeting by the organizers, led by Chairman Roy Lopez of Eastern Davao Provincial Political Committee, with various Bangsamoro sectoral leaders was held after the forum to discuss the venues and dates of the next similar event that will be held every three months. 

Lopez said the two Bangsamoro Fronts are now holding hand-in-hand to support the negotiated political solution to conflict in Mindanao.